How to cultivate fun at work and boost productivity
Most of us spend approximately one-third of our day at work. So it makes sense we’d want it to be as enjoyable as possible. Plus workplace fun has been known to boost productivity and business results. According to Quirk’s Marketing Research, in the “great” organisations of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, a whopping 81 percent of employees say they work in a fun environment.” Positive work cultures are more productive and having fun certainly falls into that category, notes Harvard Business Review.
The hard part is, “fun” is a very broad and subjective term. There is no way to please everyone when trying to figure out what employees will respond to. On top of that, senior management may expect fun to have a return on investment for the organisation in terms of time and resources.
6 Ways to boost workplace fun
So, how can HR professionals infuse some fun into the workplace? Here are six things to consider:
1. Define “fun”
Organisations need to reach consensus on what workplace fun means for the culture. It might not be the same as an individual’s definition. For example, fun doesn’t mean unsafe or unethical. Also, fun doesn’t have to be silly, and should not ever be profane. The goal here isn’t to be restrictive, it’s to create a baseline conversation about boundaries.
2. Set a budget
If part of adding fun to work includes activities like ping pong tables and pizza parties, then HR will want to set a budget. Workplace fun doesn’t have to be super expensive. That’s one of the best reasons to incorporate an element of fun into the workplace culture. It could be trivia contests or allowing employees to wear headphones so they can listen to their music.
3. Ask employees for suggestions
The first thing HR should do when trying to bring more fun in the workplace is to ask employees what they find fun; however, there’s nothing wrong with putting some parameters on the request. For example, “Name 1-2 fun things you’d like to do at work that cost nothing.” Just be prepared to consider what employees suggest.
4. Look at company policies
Before going out and buying dart boards or organising an ice cream party, look at existing policies and see if there are some places where a policy can be relaxed (thus creating fun). For example, it might be time to review flexible schedules, dress codes and internet policies as a way to give employees more latitude (which they may find fun).
5. Show HR’s fun side
It’s OK to show the organisation that HR is fun and has a sense of humor. Showing senior management and employees that HR does serious work, but doesn’t always take themselves too seriously, can be a great way to increase the approachability of the department.
6. Encourage managers to let loose a little
Some managers might feel that letting loose will hurt their credibility, but employees want to work for a manager who knows when to relax and when to be focused. Showing a lighter side could help managers build positive relationships with employees and create more engagement.
Fun means different things to different people. But it doesn’t mean organisations have to banish it from the workplace. HR has a real opportunity to add an element of fun to their culture. If employees at every level of the business enjoy their work more, that can translate to higher productivity and a more robust bottom line.
Original ADP post: How to Cultivate Fun at Work